‘I get angry when my children misbehave. I get embarrassed when they make too much noise. I’m in charge; I’m in control; I’m the one calling the shots.’

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“I made a mistake.

I almost didn’t even know it. I nearly allowed it to be my story.

And boy, oh boy, I was so stinking proud of myself for it.

Because I’d found myself in motherhood.

While everyone else was utterly convinced that they’d lost themselves to motherhood, no longer knowing who they were thanks to the all-consuming nature of this journey, I was bound and determined to be found.

So I set my mind to it. I would shift my focus and change the tune of my heart to one of hope. One of recognizing all of the glorious ways in which motherhood was whittling away at my soul and shaping me into who I was always meant to be, not stripping me of everything I once held dear.

But that, my friends, is a slippery, slippery slope.

Because whether we think we’re lost or found in motherhood, the fact of the matter is: that’s giving motherhood a whole lot of power that it doesn’t deserve.

Don’t get me wrong—motherhood is so insanely beautiful. It is one of the greatest blessings I will ever have experienced on this earth. Raising children is an absolute privilege, an honor.

But I’ll be darned if I let motherhood define me, if I allow my identity to become wrapped up in who I am as a mom. The good, the bad, the ugly—none of it. Not one bit defines me.

And I know, without a doubt, that I often fall prey to the lie of believing it is exactly what defines me.

I know because I get angry when my children misbehave.

I get embarrassed when they make too much noise at the store.

I feel ashamed when they mistreat one another or my husband or a friend or myself.

I mean, I’m their mom, after all, so this motherhood thing…yeah, it’s kind of all about me.

I’m in charge; I’m in control; I’m the one calling the shots.

So when it all goes south for a moment, which it does, because these blessed children of mine are far from perfect, I’m clearly the one to blame.

Or so I thought.

Turns out, I’m not in charge.

I’m not in control.

I’m not the one calling the shots.

And thank God for that.

Because what a weight I felt lift off my shoulders when I realized that my identity doesn’t have to be tied to my children’s manners.

Their behavior.

Their achievements.

Their successes.

Their failures.

That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to take this task of raising them with all the seriousness that it deserves. Because they are a gift—this life as their mama is a gift—and the last thing I’m about to do is squander it.

But I am going to loosen the ties that bind me.

I am going to remind myself that my sweet, incredible, wonderful children are such a beautiful blessing, but in no way am I defined by being their mom.

My identity was determined long, long ago, way before they were even a thought in the back of my mind.

Because I am chosen.

I am redeemed.

I am worthy.

I am priceless.

I am free.

I am accepted.

I am forgiven.

I am made new.

And even on the days that I fail miserably at this incredible task He’s placed before me, the one of loving my children like He does so that they might know Him more, I still am.

So I’m a mom. I’m immensely grateful to be able to say that. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself.

But motherhood—this magical journey with my precious kids—it doesn’t define me.

Because my identity is infinitely more than that. And so is yours.

So be free, Mama.

Because sure, you’re a mom. And a darn good one, if I do say so myself.

But, most importantly, you’re His.”

Jessica Vallia Photography

This story was written by Krista Ward of Kisses From Boys with Krista Ward. The article originally appeared on her Facebook pageSubmit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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